Digital Nomads and Money, Let’s Talk

Digital Nomads and Money, Let’s Talk

Money laundering in Mexico after an unfortunate dip in the river.

What did you hear about money when you were growing up? We can’t afford it. You have to work hard and earn it. It doesn’t grow on trees. We don’t have enough money. We can make the best of what we have. We can get more if we buy cheaper. We are always going to be in debt, so you might as well borrow for that house/car/etc.

Do you live paycheck to paycheck with barely enough to get by on at the end of the month?

We all have little subconscious thoughts running around our brains that affect how we make decisions about everything, including money.

I was brought up with the belief that there is never enough money, that making money is hard, and that rich people never have time to do anything but work.

So, I grew up thinking that I had to learn to live on as little as possible so that I could have a life and make enough money to get by. I bought the cheapest of everything, shopped at thrift stores, and collected items I didn’t really need and I didn’t want to give anything up in case I might need it in the future.

Fast forward to five years ago, and I found myself doing the same thing over and over. The turning point was when a friend asked if I wanted to go to the BMW test ride day and try out some of the new adventure motorcycles. I had a $1000 1983 dual sport at the time, and again, was quite proud that I had this old bike running and doing the same trails as the newer, fancier bikes. My response to my friend was, “No thanks, I don’t try on expensive clothes either.”

At the time, there was pride in my response. I thought that staying away from expensive things was how I was going to live the life I wanted and get more mileage out of my hard-earned cash.

Then, something dawned on me. It wasn’t a clear uh-ha moment, it was a glimmer in the back of my mind. “What if I can try to make more money on the side, and get a motorcycle that I didn’t have to work on every day.”

I had never considered this before because I really didn’t have a passion for things. I was used to making do with I had and stretching my dollar as far as it would go. It wasn’t until my heart was really passionate about something, riding motorcycles in this case, that I started to reconsider this whole money thing.

I’d always worked for myself, or for larger companies on a contract basis. This new idea that I could perhaps make more money led me yet more research and to Marie Forleo’s website and her Marie TV Program.

It was 2011, and she had published a Q & A video called “How to make more money without working more.” What? What do you mean, make more money without working more?

That video started a cascade effect that started uncovering all of my endless self-limiting beliefs around money and work and life in general. It was overwhelming at first, looking at all the ways I was holding myself back, but I am sure glad I opened that Pandora’s box.

The stuff in the video wasn’t new to me, it was all things I had heard before, but for some reason, Marie’s video clicked for me at this time. (I eventually attended her signature B-School program)

My financial situation got a lot worse before it got better. I had finally had it with the life I was living and a long chain of events turned my life from ordinary to extraordinary. I finally took massive action and started living the life I wanted to live.

My money skills, the ability to live on next to nothing, came in handy during this phase, and all kinds of great situations came into my life to enable me to pursue my goals, with very little money. Again, I was pretty proud of myself to be traveling the world on my motorcycle, living in beautiful places (housesitting and work-aways in Central and North America), eating great food and spending time with great people.

But I had no money, and nothing coming in.

I did some research into money mindset and took a few free online classes. I realized that my biggest money “block” was feeling that I had to struggle to get by, instead of putting the focus on earning money so that my life would be easier. I realised that putting the work in was much different than working “hard” or working so much you don’t have time to live.

Deep down I didn’t feel that I was a wealthy person. I didn’t understand that wealth is available to anyone who is willing to learn, and more importantly, willing to take action and make it happen. Somehow, I didn’t think that was me.

Just to try it on, I started a new approach to finding work. I researched some more and found some people doing very well for themselves in the online workspace. After joining Danny Marguiillas’ mailing list, I decided to look only for contracts that utilized my experience, and I charged top dollar for the industry. Low and behold, people were more than happy to pay what I was worth to do the work I’d been doing for many years and enjoyed.

WOW. Ok. So now what? I discovered that I had no money management skills other than “stretch that dollar” and “you will always be in debt”. Now, don’t be thinking I was getting rich, I wasn’t making a whole lot of money, but it was a lot more than I had been.

So, I had some money coming in but didn’t know what to do with it… pay off my debts first? Invest for the future? I read Anthony Robbins’ book, Money: Master the game but found it way too complicated to extract practical information on how to deal with my personal situation. It really helped me see that I should be investing, but I still wasn’t sure on the details.

Deep down I was feeling afraid to make more money because I didn’t know how to manage it. Every time I paid off my credit card, I ended up filling it up again. Not that I was blowing it, remember, I can stretch a dollar pretty far.

I started looking around for a course on how to deal with irregular, sporadic income and I came across this guy, Chris Enns and his business “Rags to Reasonable”.

This is what was on his front page:

“I’m Chris, an opera-singing-financial-planning-farmboy.

I’ve lived my whole life around people who have … ‘non-traditional’ financial lives. People who don’t feel like anyone at a normal bank understands them at all. The trouble is… we all still have to deal with money. And when you add the complications of variable income, multiple money streams, business expenses, and a complete lack of financial training… the results can be super stressful.”

I took advantage of Chris’ free ebooks and spreadsheets, and was so impressed I gave him a call and hired him as my financial coach.

The funny thing is, after the first meeting I felt so good about having someone to work on this with, that I found myself going for bigger projects and putting more effort into marketing and proposals. I went from “Deep down I was feeling afraid to make more money because I didn’t want to blow it.” to “Deep down I was feeling supported and more confident to make more money because I had a plan.”

Ever since then, I have had a steady decent stream of contracts coming in, doing work I enjoy and leaving me plenty of time to do the things I love to do. Steady would not be the right word, because I am stilling working within a variable income, only now I have a plan, a way to give every dollar a job and give me some confidence. I’m having fun with budgeting, yes I said “fun”. I’m enjoying knowing how much money I have at any one time and being able to plan for the future. I’m still quite good at making the most of what I have, AND I’m on the road to no longer struggling.

Do you want to know the very best thing of all? Having a few dollars to be able to help others in need. Being able to take the time to volunteer and give back. This passion is what will keep me moving forward and improving my money state.

What are your money blocks?

Are you great with money? What are your biggest words of wisdom for the financially illiterate?

List of links from this post:

Marie Forleo—Money-related playlist Grow Your Wealth

Denis Duffield ThomasLucky Bitch.com Her Book: Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First Class Life

Anthony RobbinsThe Money Mind His book Money Master the Game His book Unshakable

Danny MarguiillasFreelance to Win (Charging what you are worth)

Chris Enns—His site Rags to Reasonable

 

These products and professionals have helped me personally, and I believe in their work. They may or may not help you. I have an Amazon affiliate account and will make a few cents off any Amazon purchases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: